Curry is a British favourite. We’ve gone so far as to name it a “national dish”. Curry came to the UK through the first curry house, Hindostanee in 1809. During this era customers were enjoying tucking into spicy Indian dishes whilst indulging themselves in a bit of hooka smoking. We’ve come a long way since then. Now there are over 9,000 curry houses in England and we’ve come to love the versatile curry dish.
Chicken tikka, chicken korma and balti tend to be the types of curry that are more often than not ordered at the local curry restaurant. For this years National Curry Week we decided to try some of the more obscure curry types and recipes for a bit of a change of pace. Feeling courageous? Why not whip one of these up for tea tonight.
Bhuna is the traditionally a thick sauced curry that is prepared medium hot to hot. First the spices are fried in a generous amount of oil, then the meat added and cooked in its own juices. Because of the way this curry is cooked it tends to have a strong flavour without a bountiful amount of sauce.
Is your mouth watering yet? If only smell-o-vision had been created already! This Chicken Bhuna recipe from Vaniensamayalarai is a perfect example of this traditional curry style. Pair it with pilau rice if you so choose or in my case I love it over a fresh salad. You can make it either medium or hot depending on the amount of curry spices and chillies you use in the preparation of the sauce.
Saag dishes are traditionally made with spinach, fenugreek or other tender green leafy vegetables. You can make it with cheese, chicken, prawns or in this case, lamb. Like Bhuna dishes this dish is quite dry compared to other dishes that have a large amount of sauce. It’s full of bold flavours and easily one of my favourites.
This Saag Gosht recipe from NomNomPaleo is a simplified version of the traditional Indian dish. This recipe may be easier to make than the original but it doesn’t leave out any of the bold, exciting flavours that you would come to expect from this type of food. The greens are fresh and flavourful, whilst the lamb brings in this hearty, comfort food that we’ve come to love. It’s a wonderful dish, perfect for any time of year.
Not all curry dishes that you can order from your local curry house originated from India. Some come from Persia or Portugal but have gained popularity and changed a bit from when they were introduced into the Indian Society. The two recipes to follow are from both ends of the spectrum. One is very mild whilst the other is extremely hot (think hotter than jalfrezi).
Biryani is served in Curry houses around the country, but isn’t actually a curry dish. This dish originated in Persia and was known as a baked meat and rice dish. Over time the dish has evolved into the aromatic delicacy that it is. Served with a beautiful stir fried rice, and either vegetable curry or bhuna cooked style meat. You’ll also find it contains sultanas and almonds, making it just that little bit sweeter.
The dish I chose to make for tea on Thursday is this beautiful Chettinad Prawn Biryani from Mye’s Kitchen. After marinating the prawns in red chilli, ginger, garlic and aniseed I knew that this dish was going to be a collision of exquisite flavours. The basmati rice needs to be cooked to absolute perfection to keep it from getting too mushy or sticky but other than that this will be perfect for making in big batches and freezing some for rainy days. Definitely one of my favourites.
All curry dishes can be modified to be more or less spicy, just alter the levels of heat inducing spices when cooking up these taste sensations. Enjoy them for lunch or dinner this week!